Following are a list of tips on résumé writing and career gains in financial services from K Sudarshan, managing partner, EMA Partners:
1. First and foremost, ensure that the objective you have laid out in your resume is in line with the position you have applied for.
2. Be concise, keep it short and simple. Do not cramp all information in quest for a short resume. Maintain an easily readable font size throughout. The resume ideally should not be more than 2 or 3 pages. Avoid putting in unwarranted information like passport number or countries visited unless it makes sense. Highlight institutions that have "brag value" (like IIMs).
3. Avoid using qualitative or subjective words like impressive, excellent, significant etc. Instead use words which are quantitative like largest, biggest, profitable etc. Also avoid words that do not reflect your complete contribution like aided, participated, involved etc. Instead use words focused on your action such as negotiated, managed, conducted etc.
4. Be specific and quantify achievements such as profit growth.
5. Cite recognitions like scholarships, awards, performance ranks. Avoid putting in vague things like "top quartile performer."
6. For experienced executives, the resume should reflect a clear direction and purpose for the career. The momentum should not be lost and the growth and progress as an executive over the years has to be visible. Focus on recent achievements. What you did 20 years ago is perhaps no longer relevant for the hiring organization.
7. If you are posting your resume in a job portal, ensure that you use key words that will be picked up in an automated resume search. For example if you are a Chartered Accountant looking at a role in "Internal audit" make sure this is highlighted in at least one or more places in your curriculum vitae (CV).
8. Ensure that you provide adequate information to catch the interest of a potential employer. In the quest for confidentiality people provide very little or no information which negates the idea of registering in a job portal.
9. If you are applying online ensure that you are not mass mailing your resume to several recipients, which clearly reflects your desperation for a change!
10. Please remember, you are what you are. Dishonesty and exaggeration are not helpful.